Gift Post #10: Alison’s Bag

As you know, members of my guild make bags and then the rest of the members bring small gifts/goodies with which to fill them. This time we had a new position for which to make a bag. The Member-At-Large position was somewhat undefined, so there was some discussion about whether the job that had been done was bag worthy. I felt bad not giving a bag to a board member when, despite her work, everyone else on the board was getting a bag.

Allison's 2018 Bag
Allison’s 2018 Bag

As a result, I pulled fabrics and made a Jane Market Tote. The hardest part of these bags is the cutting. I always forget how many pieces I need to cut. I take responsibility, because I have such trouble understanding patterns. I’d love a system where cutting was uniformly described across all patterns. If wishes were horses…. Still, once cut, this bag goes together easily.

I add interfacing to the outside pieces, which makes the bag pretty crisp, though still foldable.  I also set the straps in the top seam rather than sewing them to the outside. This means that three seams cover the straps and provide security.

Last ATCs

I made my last ATCs for awhile last week and forgot to take a photo. At the CQFA meeting on Saturday, I was the only one who brought them. It was decided that we weren’t going to do them going forward. I will kind of miss the rush of getting a small work of art done, but I will also not miss the stress.

Last CQFA ATCs - December 2018
Last CQFA ATCs – December 2018

Sadly I forgot to take a photo of the 4 together, but Julie brought hers along when we had lunch and I took a photo of one of them.

BAM Swap Bag

I signed up for the BAM swap and received Lindsay. I don’t know her very well. I talked to her briefly at a recent meeting as she rummaged through a stack of donation blocks I had recently donated. You know I love it when people use my blocks. 😉 It is such a great feeling of collaboration.

I kind of like doing the swaps,though this one was hard. I kind of gave up on the theme, though Rhonda, the organizer is pretty lax about sticking to the theme. I have to learn to be more like her.

Classmate Bag by Terry Atkinson
Classmate Bag by Terry Atkinson

I went through my patterns after I saw that Lindsay requested a bag. I have a lot of bag patterns and need to start plowing through them. I came up with the Classmate Bag by Terry Atkinson. It is not a large tote sized bag, but I thought it would be useful for going to class.

I have heard good things about Atkinson designs patterns and the company certainly has a lot of patterns out. I can’t remember ever making something from their line.

This bag went together pretty well, especially when I was able to concentrate after Thanksgiving.

Classmate Bag for Lindsay - BAM Swap
Classmate Bag for Lindsay – BAM Swap

The problem I always have for these types of swaps is fabric. I don’t buy a lot of the lines that modern quilters seem to swarm over. I chose some leftover Tula Pink fabric from a project for which I made a block for Kelly.

It looks pretty good on the outside, I think. I am surprised to see how well the pattern of the fabric matches up. That was a happy accident.

Classmate Bag for Lindsay -open - BAM Swap
Classmate Bag for Lindsay -open – BAM Swap

This was a good enough pattern to make me think that I might make this bag again for another friend. Stay tuned.

November Donation Blocks

I made a few more donation blocks in November. Between working on the Spiky 16 Patches and traveling a bit, I didn’t get as many done as I would have liked. However, I am taking the positive route and thinking that every little bit helps.

Even though I try, I still seem to end up with a majority of blue donation blocks. I’ll have to see about changing that. Or not. 😉

ColorPlay: Compass

Disney Compass
Disney Compass

More imagery from my Disney trip. This was a new image that I had never seen before and it really appealed. The detail is fabulous. In hunting around for an image for today, I thought of this. It didn’t turn out to be great for color, but I think some of the palettes are interesting.


Of course the default palette is neutral heavy! Still there is that Sea Glass (great name, don’t you think?) fabric that lightens up the piece. Also some of the other colors have blue and purple twinges (undertones?), which makes the palette look at little less dark and depressing.


The first palette I made is a little all over the place. It isn’t very cohesive. Of course, I like the Lake and Niagra fabrics. It is interesting that the color names are related to water, though perhaps not surprising. I am not a fan of the Rose. It looks sick to me.


I went straight to monochromatic, which was marginally successful. I ended up with two of the same fabrics. C’est la vie. I do like the blues. I think my favorite is the Azure, but the Robin’s Egg is nice, too.


Palette n.3 is all over the place as well, though not a mess, I think. I don’t remember seeing Natural before. I have done a lot of palettes, so I could just not be remembering. The Wasabi looks like sunshine yellow on the bottom, which I like. It has more a green tinge on the side. The Garnet does not have enough red to look Garnet to me. I think it looks more plummy.


N.4 might be my favorite. It isn’t quite monochromatic, but stays well in the cool shades realm. I like the way Surf looks more purple on the bottom. I think it adds to the palette even though I think one of  the websites used to create this might be off. I think the lights look really good.


Finally, I decided to get out of my comfort zone and create something with more gold. Palette n.5 heads into the neutrals pretty quickly. I am not a very big fan of this particular palette, but it is different and it does remind me of Mrs. K’s gold Spiky 16 Patch.


What will inspire you today?



Color My Quilt: Nicole

Color My Quilt: Nicole - November 2018
Color My Quilt: Nicole – November 2018

I did my piece at almost the last minute, but not quite.

Nicole asked for a dark, kind of Moon and Stars theme. I used scraps and this was what i came up with. I didn’t have the dark batiks in the example. Others might and mine will provide a bit of night-shiny brightness to the quilt. I hope…


ColorPlay: Tile

I got back from a trip with my SILs and nieces to Disneyland and California Adventure on Sunday. As usual, I was overwhelmed by visual stimulation. I have previously written in couple of places about the colors and motifs I see at the parks.

California Adventure Mosaic/Tile
California Adventure Mosaic/Tile

I do think I posted a photo of this mosaic/tile before, but I can’t find it, so we are doing it again with PlayCrafts, though we will just be using a small piece as I may need to use another piece in the future.

California Adventure "The Grapefruit Experience" (anno)
California Adventure “The Grapefruit Experience” (anno)

I will call the piece we are using the ‘Grapefruit Experience’.

ColorPlay default - Mosaics/Tile
ColorPlay default – Mosaics/Tile

The default, surprisingly, was not all neutrals and included some quite lovely blues.

ColorPlay n.1 - Mosaics/Tile
ColorPlay n.1 – Mosaics/Tile

The first palette was created with just a few tweaks to the default palette.  I like the Kona Marine and Caribbean combination. I am not very fond of the other colors, though Bright Idea is interesting.

ColorPlay n.2 - Mosaics/Tile
ColorPlay n.2 – Mosaics/Tile

In palette n.2, I tried to go for a light palette without being a  neutral palette. In the end I kept the Hyacinth and Coal. I like both of those hues, which look like tones of purple to me.

ColorPlay n.3 Mosaics/Tile
ColorPlay n.3 – Mosaics/Tile

The green I added to palette n.3 was inspired by the #GirlScoutHearts project on Instagram. I am not much of a green fan, but this palette might be a favorite. I like the Turquoise, the Royal and the Lavender, especially. I think the whole palette hangs together well.

ColorPlay n.4 - Mosaics/Tile
ColorPlay n.4 – Mosaics/Tile

With a little tweaking, I got a nice golden yellow. It goes well with the Kona Jamaica, which is one of my favorite tones.

This image had just the right amount of opportunity for playing with color.

ColorPlay n-5 - Mosaics/Tile
ColorPlay n-5 – Mosaics/Tile

I really, REALLY wish Kona had less ravely greige goods. some of their blues are fantastic, even adjusting for computer differences. N.5 is the monochromatic effort.

ColorPlay n.7 - Mosaics/Tile
ColorPlay n.7 – Mosaics/Tile

I realized I would be able to create a yellow palette as well.

ColorPlay n.6 - Mosaics/Tile
ColorPlay n.6 – Mosaics/Tile

I also tried on a neutral palette. I could resist.


What will you make?


Continuing to Sparkle

With Spark #30, we finished working our way through Carrie Bloomston’s book, The Little Spark. Buy it. Support the artist. Our journey here is done, but the posts will remain and you can work through the book and my comments at your own pace. There is much more to each spark than what I wrote. The original chapters will help you.

Included on the very last page of the book was a list of books and movies that Carrie suggests we read. I am listing some of them:

I haven’t read any of the books listed above. I have seen a couple of the books she lists, but would watch them again. Go buy Carrie Bloomston’s book, so you get the full benefit of her fabulousness!

Creative Spark #30: Trust Yourself

This is the last spark of the book and it is incredibly short. Carrie Blooms ton writes “Now that you have read this book, let me tell you one last thing to take with you on your adventure:




Nothing you need is in a class or at the museum or at the art supply store. Everything you need is within you” (pg.124).

This is hard for me. I always think that if I get a better machine, or that new fabric, or a variety of zippers, my work will be better. I have to learn that my work is good enough with what I have and if I keep striving as discussed last week, then I will move towards perfection.

The author ends with “Trust yourself and you will awaken to the potential inside you. You already have everything you need (pg.124).

You can see the last post on this topic from last week.

Nota bene: we are working through Carrie Bloomston’s book, The Little Spark. Buy it. Support the artist. Play along. There is much more to each spark than what I am writing. The original chapters will help you. Go buy Carrie Bloomston’s book, so you get the full benefit of her fabulousness! You can see my book review, which is what started this flight of fancy.

Creative Spark #29: Leave it on the Field

“I am proud of what you did out there. You did your best. You left it all on the field” (pg.122).

What this quote says to me is something that I try to live by, but need reminding about periodically. I always says that I need to show up and do the work. That isn’t enough and this quote reminds me of it. Yes, I need to show up. Yes, I need to do the work. I can’t, however, do it in a desultory way. I need to give it my all. I need to look at my work throughout the process. I need to think about what I am doing. I need to try different things and do my best work. It might not actually end up being my best work, but I need to give quiltmaking my all and not hold back.

“I used to think I had to save it all up for this or that” (pg.122) speaks to me. I recently bought some Tula Pink dots and stripes and in September I started to use them. Using my good fabrics is FANTASTIC! I have done this a couple of times lately and I have to say that saving fabrics for the perfect project is horrible for me. I have fabrics I used to love and now I don’t even remember why I bought I them. It is sad. Using my good fabrics means that I can see them in my house and use the quilts and enjoy the fabrics.

In this context, Carrie Bloomston means herself. She compartmentalized herself and doled parts of herself out as she saw fit. She writes “some knew me as a mom, some as an artist, some as a spiritual seeker, some as a kniiter, glassblower, a painter, a designer…I finally let go of that a few years ago when I began the process of letting go of control” (pg.122).

I know the examples are different, but I believe that using my fabric now is the first step in stopping the compartmentalization we, as humans, are prone to engage in. Letting go of control or planning isn’t easy. We all have busy lives and like to squeeze a lot into our days. “Befriend incidents, accidents, and mishaps. They are your greatest teachers” (pg.123).

“No matter what form your creativity takes, you have to let go of expectation and perfection. For the record, there is no such thing as perfect. …if you ever finally made the perfect quilt or painting or cake, you’d never need to make another one, right?” (pg.123). This quote is profound to me. I know that there is no such thing as perfection. Every project I make sparks a ‘what if’ moment. What if I made the blocks bigger? What if I used pink instead of green? There is an endless number of what ifs that populate my mind as I work on quilts and other projects.

For me, trying my best (despite what Yoda says) and working towards my best work and towards perfection is what I have to do, what I have been doing and what I will continue to do.

Carrie says the same thing when she writes “There is only trying, doing your best, and leaving it all on the field. If you do your best, honor your journey, and love yourself along the way, then you will find the pot of gold at the end of your rainbow. The pot of gold is everywhere when you go with the flow, surrender to the process, stop controlling, and let yourself be filled with joy and love” (pg.123).

She ends the Spark with “I hope you have learned that no matter what, you are good enough exactly as you are right now, and your lief experience will fill your work with your spirit” (pg.123).

You can see the last post on this topic from several weeks ago.

Nota bene: we are working through Carrie Bloomston’s book, The Little Spark. Buy it. Support the artist. Play along. There is much more to each spark than what I am writing. The original chapters will help you. Go buy Carrie Bloomston’s book, so you get the full benefit of her fabulousness! You can see my book review, which is what started this flight of fancy.

ColorPlay: Windspinner

ColorPlay: Windspinner original
ColorPlay: Windspinner original

I took this photo in Tahoe. I really like those Windspinners.I can’t buy one, because DH gets sick.

There are a lot of colors, if a person is careful with the little Palette Builder circles. I had fun looking for them.


Despite my efforts, the default palette is still a bunch of neutrals.  It is really dark, but somehow strangely appealing. The Kona Earth is a nice brown.

ACK! I can’t believe I said that about brown.

ColorPlay: Windspinner-n.1
ColorPlay: Windspinner-n.1

I went for totally bright and cheerful in the first palette. The green in this palette is really a good addition. I like the Grasshopper with the Papaya even though I am not much of a green person.

ColorPlay: Windspinner-n.2
ColorPlay: Windspinner-n.2

I went for a cool colors palette. Isn’t it fun? I kept the Grasshopper. It is a nice dark with the other colors.

ColorPlay: Windspinner-n.3
ColorPlay: Windspinner-n.3

Palette number 3 is the monochromatic palette that weighs heavily towards turquoise. 😉 I did add in the darks to make it a little different. The Kona Carribean and Breakers are two great darks.

ColorPlay: Windspinner-n.4
ColorPlay: Windspinner-n.4

I had to get out of my favorite cool colors, so I went with warms. This is a nice combinations of pinks and golds, I think.

ColorPlay: Windspinner-n.5
ColorPlay: Windspinner-n.5

I couldn’t get away from the cools, even though I tried. I added some lavender and those greens – more mossy and sagey – add something, especially with the Breakers.

ColorPlay: Windspinner-n.6
ColorPlay: Windspinner-n.6

I dragged myself away from the cools again and went back to warms, though I couldn’t stay completely away and that Jade Green combined with the Kona Cotton Red and the Pomegranate is awesome.

ColorPlay: Windspinner-n.7
ColorPlay: Windspinner-n.7

I did a backwards version of n.6 in that I used mostly cools with a warm.

What will you make?


New Donation Blocks

I made a couple of donation blocks over the weekend. Just a couple. I can’t seem to get away from the turquoise, though green is definitely forcing its way into the mix.

I found a whole bunch of Bonnie and Camille 2.5 inch squares leftover from the Stepping Stones n.2 quilt. That means more turquoise, though some red and pink as well.

ColorPlay: Umbrellas


I’m always looking for photos with the most color possibilities. This week is no exception. I took this photo in Portland. The umbrellas were hanging down from the ceiling, covering the ceiling.

It doesn’t have as many colors as I would like, but until I start playing with the Palette Builder, I always think the photo I chose has more colors than it really does.


The Kona Earth looks like a cocoa color to me. Surprisingly the tool put some color into the default palette. I suppose it would have been really weird if it ignored the pink umbrella completely. It didn’t do much with the green umbrella.


I took charge of the pink to see how much pink I could get out of the one photo. I was surprised that I got quite a lot. You can see all the dots are only on the pink umbrella.


I went a little broader in my second palette. I like that Cotton Sage blue. Sage is green to me, but whatever that color is, it lends a brightness to an otherwise neutral palette.


This 3rd palette is virtually the same as the one above except for a few tweaks. I wanted to just move the circles a little bit and see what came up. The green created Evergreen, which really looks black. I suppose I agree with the Desert Green name. Colors in the desert can be very pale, bleaches looking. The neutral palette is softer, I think.


The fourth palette reminds me of dessert. The neutrals have a richness to them, especially the Kona Cinnamon.

In general, this photo is primarily generating neutral palettes with me teasing out the least bit of color to make them my own.


BAMaQG Color Round Robin Returns

BAMaQG Color Round Robin
BAMaQG Color Round Robin

Along with the Octagon 9 Patch, the BAMaQG Color Round Robin came back from my quilter. I really like the quilting. There are different motifs in most of the non-background areas. I have to sew down the binding and then send it off to its new owner.

I don’t dislike this quilt, however it is not a favorite. I do really like the quilting that Colleen did.

The bits in each of the areas with printed fabric look great.

Color My Quilt: Gerre

Color My Quilt: Gerre's shard
Color My Quilt: Gerre’s shard

Gerre brought her blocks to the meeting last month and laid them out. I talked about this process earlier in the week (better late than never!). During that process, I realized that my shard was not among the ones she brought. I looked up all the Color My Quilt posts and don’t think I ever made her a piece. I was really sad about that, so I got busy.

This one isn’t as long as I thought it would be and is more buttoned up than the other shards, but I hope she will be able to use it.